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Scott Roeder's Hard 50 Sentence Overturned


The man who shot Dr George Tiller in Wichita in 2009 had a court hearing on Oct. 24. His attorneys presented his appeal and as KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc reports his convictions were upheld but not his sentence.

Dr Tiller was known for performing abortions in late pregnancy, he was one of just a few in the country. On a Sunday, in church, while Tiller was serving as an usher, Scott Roeder shot him in the head and killed him.

"I did what was needed to be done to protect the children - I shot him," he said at his trial. 

Roeder was convicted of first degree murder and was given Kansas' "Hard 50" sentence, but that sentence did not involve a jury.

Since that time, the Kansas Supreme Court has determined that such an enhanced sentence must involve a jury not just a judge.

Roeder now is looking at 25 years before parole possibility. But District Attorney Marc Bennett says he intends to seek the "Hard 50" again before a new jury.

Click here to read the Kansas Supreme Court's decision.